China's Aging Population Poses A Challenge To Future Growth
Beijing is currently grappling with a gradually unfolding demographic crisis that will carry significant implications for future economic growth.
China recorded its first population decline since 1961 this year.
This year, China recorded its first population decline since 1961, and according to the United Nations, the country's population is projected to decrease from the current 1.4 billion to less than 800 million by 2100, as reported by This Week magazine.
This decline is primarily a consequence of the one-child policy implemented by the Communist Party in the late 1970s as a measure to control population growth.
Concerns about an impending demographic crisis prompted authorities to relax this policy in 2016 and provide financial incentives to encourage new parents. However, factors such as high housing costs and long working hours continue to deter many young Chinese couples from having children.
The current fertility rate stands at 1.09 births per woman, falling below the 2.1 threshold required to maintain a stable population.
In addition to shrinking, China's population is also aging, with the number of individuals aged 60 and older projected to double to 500 million by 2050.
This demographic shift could strain healthcare and pension systems. While many Western nations grapple with similar population challenges, China, according to demographer Yi Fuxian, is distinct in that it "has aged before it has become affluent.